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Keeping healthy

Condom Drainage (Sheath) 


  • Sheaths come in various sizes
  • You will need to be assessed carefully for a correct fit.
  • If the sheath is too tight it may cause penile pressure ulcers
  • If the sheath is too loose it will fall off
  • Secure the drainage bag tubing to your leg to prevent the sheath from being easily pulled off
  • ‘Tapping’ over your abdomen encourages the bladder muscle to contract, and voiding to take place
  • If you do not tap regularly (every 3-4 hours) you may not be completely emptying your bladder, which will make you prone to urinary tract infections
  • Drink between 2-3 litres of fluids per day
  • Overnight attach a night bag (2 litre capacity) to your leg bag
  • Fit a new sheath daily or on alternate days.
  • Try to give the skin on your penis a rest before applying a new sheath. During this time thoroughly wash with soap and water, especially under the foreskin (if present)
  • Inspect the skin on your penis carefully, and stop using a sheath immediately if there are signs of a rash, pressure, or broken skin
  • If skin is particularly sore it may be necessary to have an indwelling catheter for a short period of time to allow the skin to heal

Problems that may occur:

  • Sheath falls off easily: seek advice from the Outpatient Nurses or your local Continence Nurse
  • If you have a large abdomen:you may find it difficult to fit a sheath and keep it in place. There are sheaths manufactured for this situation so please ask the Outpatient Nurses, or your Continence Nurse for details
  • Skin on penis gets sore:arrange for an indwelling urethral catheter to be passed to allow your skin time to heal. Seek advice from the Outpatient Nurses before reapplying a sheath
  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs):If you have frequent UTIs you need to check that you have been ‘tapping’ regularly, and you need to inform your Spinal Consultant. You may need to have urodynamics

If any of the above occurs, seek advice from:

  • The Outpatient Nurses
  • Your GP
  • Your District Nurse
  • Your Continence Nurse
Page Last Updated: 1/30/2016 3:26 PM 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website